Gov’t to provide aid to areas under ECQ

Published July 16, 2021, 6:06 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The government intends to extend assistance to families affected by the most restrictive lockdown in four places in the country this month.

President Duterte (File photo/Malacañang)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced Friday the national government’s “augmentation support” for local government units affected by enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the strictest of the four quarantine levels imposed by the government.

The government task force in charge of pandemic response earlier placed Iloilo province, Iloilo City, Cagayan de Oro, and Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental under ECQ until the end of the month to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“The national government, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), shall provide augmentation support to local government units adversely affected by the latest imposition of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ),” Roque said in a statement Friday.

At present, Roque said the DSWD Field Office 6 has started to coordinate with local government units to determine the number of ECQ aid beneficiaries. The government wants to know “how many families within the ECQ areas are affected and are eligible to receive aid from the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS).”

Also, Roque said the DSWD was working closely with the military to help transport and distribute family food packs to places under ECQ. “This augmentation support is on top of the stockpiles and food packs, which concerned LGUs can provide,” he said.

The government previously set aside huge funds for the provision of “ayuda” or aid to low-income families living in areas placed under ECQ. When National Capital Region Plus was placed under ECQ last March, the President approved a P23-billion allocation worth of emergency aid to affected families. The local government units then were given leeway if they will distribute the aid in cash or in-kind.

Roque meantime appealed anew to the public to follow health regulations to stem the coronavirus outbreak.

“We call on everyone to cooperate and strictly adhere to the minimum public health standards, such as wearing of face masks/shields, handwashing, and social distancing,” he said.

“Also, we encourage everyone to get vaccinated, once supply and schedule date become available. Together, we shall overcome and prevail,” he added.

READ: Iloilo province, Iloilo City, 2 others move to ECQ until July 31